Rigged and Ready for the Real Revolution

Sons of Liberty at the Green Dragon - Artist Unknown

Sons of Liberty at the Green Dragon – Artist Unknown

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.                                                             From Thomas Jefferson to William Smith  1787

In modern America it seems that the discontented and the demagogues have always held our third President in the highest regard. From tee shirts to bar room banter, those touting the next revolution are quick to remind us that any rotten fruit that sprouts from that sacred “Liberty Tree” should be pruned with extreme prejudice as per the periodic prescriptive measures supposedly proposed by Thomas Jefferson.

(While I remain  a staunch advocate for the cause of alliteration in literature, even I believe that some degree of poetic license may have been abused during the execution of the previous sentence)

Although Mr. Jefferson felt that a modicum of public rebellion from time to time was  a healthy way to keep an overreaching governing class in check, he much preferred the peaceful coexistence between the powers that be and the people. In what has become known as the “Tree of Liberty” letter, Jefferson expressed his concerns that the Constitution would vest too much control to a central government that was at that time already weary of further armed uprisings, similar to the tax insurrection that had occurred in Massachusetts in 1786 and 1787. Ultimately, Jefferson believed that it was a lack of knowledge that led a disgruntled public to consider taking up arms against the government. Toward the end of his letter to William Smith, he states, “The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon & pacify them.”

Whether or not it is even possible today to discover the facts about anyone or anything is a matter of debate. Political punditry and pitchfork populism are a malignancy that obscure and eventually obliterate the truth. But there is one certain truth that I believe we must make abundantly clear to a distrustful electorate. Contrary to the rants of Donald J. Trump, This election is not rigged!

As it has always been since the onset of this republic, there are those forces in the press and the media that have attempted to influence the vote by way of an institutional or personal bias. Historically, candidates for public office from both parties have had personal ties to newspapers and broadcast outlets. But in the age of the internet and social media there are more than enough sources to support and validate everyone’s version of the truth. The only thing that is truly rigged against us is that portion of the human brain that causes us to occasionally blindly follow those that affirm our own personal perceptions–even if those perceptions are totally without merit.

So before we are tempted to threaten bodily harm against any of our fellow citizens because one of our candidates for the office of President is falsely crying fire in a crowded theater, remember that Thomas Jefferson followed The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants with the words It is its natural manure. 

Hopefully Americans will reject the current line of bullshit and demagoguery in favor of that real revolution that will only come about as a result of reasonable human beings working together to address our difficulties and differences in a spirit of concern, compassion, and compromise!

Posted by: Chris Poh for American Public House Review


A Good START for the New Year


Faneuil Hall - Boston, MA

Myself and our associate editor, Dave McBride took a very long walk through the well chilled blustery streets of Boston the other night. Our mission was clear, our cause was common–find the perfect tavern that would provide us warmth, comfort and an atmosphere that might revive our somewhat dampened holiday spirits. The results of that December campaign will be featured in a couple of upcoming articles in American Public House Review.

The Green Dragon - Boston, MAAs we navigated the old brick alleyways around Quincey Market we spoke of history, politics and Christmas. With the flurry of  political achievements coming out of Washington during the last few days, among them the new START treaty, perhaps there is still reason to believe in the hope for mankind espoused by those young  rebels from Bethlehem to Boston.

The following piece was originally published in December of 2007.

I still retain many fond memories from a childhood that was somewhat tainted by the cold war. That robust competition for world domination between communist and capitalist could unsettle even the most secure suburban upbringing.

In my version of “Leave it to Beaver Land”, better known as Teaneck, New Jersey there were only two reasons for seeking shelter below the first floor: the fear of nuclear winter, or the fear of not keeping up with those that had achieved a subterranean paradise replete with paneling, ping-pong and a mini-pub. Trusting that John Kennedy would always best his Soviet nemesis, Nikita Khrushchev, my parents decided to forego stocking up on a six month supply of Campbell’s Tomato Soup, and chose instead to dedicate the basement to recreational use.

Lillie's - New York CityMy father was a trained artist as well as a self-taught musician and craftsman. He brought all of those talents to bear on the construction of the altar that would become our home bar. It became a place of warm gatherings, merriment and song.

As a child, I remember the excitement of waiting for my dad to flip the switch that would illuminate his handiwork. Light danced on multi-colored inlaid metal tiles that adorned the top of the bar. The scene had all the drama of those Christmas Eves long past, when my assigned yearly quest to locate that elusive brown extension cord, that would bring power from wall to tree, yielded success.

Christmas Tree in Quincy Market - BostonThis publican owes much to Raymond J. Poh. The culmination of his craft instilled in me my great love of the tavern. Every time I answer the call of one of those splendidly lit confines there is a sense of Christmas. Perhaps the mix of neon, candles and designer incandescent bring on those feelings; but more likely the potential for fellowship, kindness and generosity that one finds in such places renews my hope for peace on earth and goodwill toward men.

All of us at American Public House Review wish you and yours a joyous and blessed  season of light!

Posted by: Chris Poh

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